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SC asks GJM leaders to approach Calcutta HC for anticipatory bail

SC asks GJM leaders to approach Calcutta HC for anticipatory bail

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday gave liberty to Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leaders Bimal Gurung and Roshan Giri, against whom several cases are lodged in West Bengal, to approach the Calcutta High Court for anticipatory bail to enable them to participate in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

The apex court said its interim order of December 12 last year, in which it had said that no coercive action be taken till next date of hearing, will continue to operate until further orders. "We request the high court not to go into the issue of maintainability by relegating to the different sessions courts in whose jurisdiction the FIRs (against them) are lodged," a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said.

"If such applications for anticipatory bail are filed within four days from today, it is expected that the high court shall take them up expeditiously and dispose them in accordance with law without delay including grant of ad-interim orders to its satisfaction," said the bench, also comprising Justices M M Shantanagoudar and Navin Sinha.

The court passed the order on interim prayer of Gurung and Giri who were seeking protection to enable them to approach the appropriate court for seeking anticipatory bail.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for them, had argued in the apex court that numerous FIRs have been lodged against Gurung and Giri and they both were "effectively being prevented from participating in the forthcoming general elections".

They argued that the state government has "political vendetta" against them.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for West Bengal, has opposed their plea seeking protection saying FIRs lodged against them were of serious nature. In its order, the bench said: "Having heard the parties, the prayer for interim relief, in the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case, is disposed of with liberty to approach the high court for grant of anticipatory bail in accordance with law."

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